Elevation drawing looking downstream
Thirtieth Street Bridge
USGS 7.5" Topo Quad - UTM Coordinates:
Pittsburgh East - Zone 17; 0586 4479
-- River Av on right descending bank of Allegheny River
-- Washington's Landing (Herr's Island) - Waterfront Dr in Allegheny River
-- back channel of Allegheny River mile 2.5 at Herr's Island
TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION / DESIGN:
Steel girder (3 simple spans)
LENGTH OF MAIN SPAN:
60 ft est.
TOTAL LENGTH (including longest elevated ramp):
100 ft est.
HEIGHT OF DECK:
30 ft est.
Emsworth Dam normal pool level 710 ft
YEAR ERECTED / ENGINEER:
1986, Parsons Brinckerhoff for City of Pittsburgh/URA
City of Pittsburgh, current owner
Stands in the shadow of the much larger 31st St Bridge and provides access to Washington's Landing from River Av. This unremarkable modern bridge replaced an earlier deteriorating structure from 1939 which led to the former industrial warehouses and buildings.
This bridge was built as part the Urban Redevelopment Authority's remaking of the island. The original design was to be a continuous span supported on three equally-spaced piers. It happens that the City of Pittsburgh does not own any bridges which have piers in the water -- and as such do not have the facilities for bridge inspectors to make the required periodic checkups. The engineers were requested to revise the design. Due to the dimensions of the back channel and the steepness of the river banks, the resulting bridge has an unusual juxtoposition of a massive, deep center span, with much shorter, shallower anchor spans riding like tiny wings atop the center girder.
Excellent vantage point for viewing rowing teams practicing in the Herr's Island back channel. Bull rope tied near northern pier is used by swimmers to swing out into the water.
Near the site of a previous 30th St Bridge which crossed the full width of the Allegheny River -- later replaced by the current 31st St Bridge completed in 1928. A two-span iron truss was swept away during an 1882 flood.
The island was settled by Benjamin Herr who operated a water powered mill in the back channel. Federal regulations required that livestock being transported by railroad must be given rest stops. Stockyards were constructed on Herr's Island. Over time, the stockyards were expanded; slaughterhouses and processing factories covered the island.
Later the stockyards were closed and replaced by warehouses. Sculling teams from local universities discovered the still waters of the back channel and used this area for training. Herr's Island was rechristened Washington's Landing by the City of Pittsburgh as part of the clean-up and rehabilitation of the former industrial brownfield site. A new 30th Street bridge was built for reliable access.
With the raised environmental conciousness of the early 1990s, Herr's Island was rediscovered, cleared and cleaned as part of a residential and recreational development which includes a marina, recreational trails and riverside park areas. The former West Penn (PRR) railroad bridge at the downstream tip of the island has been converted to pedestrian use, and includes an accessible switchback ramp at its western end.
USACE Allegheny River Nav. Charts
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